From the Chairperson

Greetings from the NAAC preparatory Committee!

Let me give you a little background to the reaccreditation we are seeking for the second time at the University of Hyderabad. This note is based on the presentation I made on 19 March 2012 at NAAC Preparatory meeting convened by the Vice Chancellor; it is now being sent to a larger audience following suggestion made by several colleagues.

The University of Hyderabad was one of the few institutions of higher education that sought voluntary assessment and accreditation by the NAAC in 2002.  We sought reaccreditation from 2007. There was delay in submission of application on account of changes in format in the NAAC with effect from April 2007.

Accordingly our University submitted a SSR (Self Study Report) in January 2008 with an executive summary of achievements in seven key areas: curricular aspects, teaching, learning and evaluation, promotion of research, infrastructure and learning resources, student support and progression, governance and leadership and finally, innovative practices.  The SSR was submitted by Prof. Seyed Hasnain, the then Vice Chancellor to NAAC.

Based on the SSR, a three member committee visited our Campus and submitted a report on 28 March 2008

We received A Grade with 3.89 in the four point scale. I believe we need to study the report submitted by the peer team in the last visit.

This, I think, will help us have an action plan for reaccreditation.  The relevant documents are available with me.  I have given copies to members of the NAAC Preparatory committee. I have also forwarded copies to the University officials, to the Director of the IQAC and to some others. All documents will be made available at the NAAC office, to be housed in the office of the IQAC.

Here is a road map as I see it:

(1)     Before March 2013, well ahead of the submission of the SSR and the peer group visit, the University of Hyderabad is expected to send an official letter of intent for reaccreditation to NAAC, Bangalore.

(2)   Following this, NAAC, Bangalore, will intimate our University to initiate       the process for reaccreditation.  Accordingly we will finalize a SSR.

(3)  The SSR will contain two parts: One section will deal with specific      responses from departments, centers, schools, the other, information and     inputs that will be presented in an integrated manner on behalf of the     whole University.  A new software will be made available to us by        NAAC, Bangalore in April 2012.

(4)        A vital component of the SSR for reaccreditation will be the ATR (Action             Taken Report).

Allow me to draw your attention to the PTR (Peer Team Report) dated 5.3.2008.  It identified the following as our institutional strength:

Ø  excellent faculty and infrastructure

Ø  all India character in terms of faculty and students

Ø  best students are selected through competition at the national level

Ø  many faculty members are acknowledged experts in their research areas

Ø  a great potential for projecting the University at the global level.

Under institutional weaknesses, it identified the following:

“absence of systematic student monitoring, mentoring, more so with the introduction of the Integrated Masters programme.”

It suggested the following three as institutional challenges before our University:

Ø  to increase enrolment of students

Ø  to have more effective monitoring of the student progression post departure from the university

Ø  to seek greater advancement of Alumni through their association.

As for institutional opportunities the PTR referred to large number of research oriented companies and establishments with opportunities for interface.

Ø  Ability to draw best students through national competition

Ø  dedicated faculty with proven specialized expertise

Ø  location in metro having national centers of higher learning and research

I believe our University has not made sufficient efforts consciously to implement the recommendations.  It is not clear what kind of student monitoring, if any, is being done at the University level.  Secondly, what is our understanding of the ‘students’ progression’, post–departure from the University (PTR page 9).  Thirdly, what steps have we taken in the last 4 years for ensuring ‘greater involvement of alumni through their association? (PTR p.9).Clearly, our track record in the last 4 years in these areas has been less than satisfactory.

Based on the above–mentioned, it would be honestly seen that our attitude to accreditation/reaccreditation, self–assessment and academic auditing in general has been ad hoc.  It responds to directives, policy advisories from above and elsewhere.It is not pro–active and is largely based on exigencies.  The governance of the University, especially the support system, is equally unsatisfactory.

I suggest, for the consideration of all, that in compiling, storing and presenting information, the most difficult task ahead, we must exercise due honestly and completely avoid window dressing. I request all units of the university to respond quickly and expeditiously to queries and requests for data in the proper format and not send us photocopies etc., from the annual reports.  We simply do not have the support system or man power for the necessary conversion.  All information requested for, may kindly be submitted in the proper format which we will  forward  in due course after we receive the software from NAAC in April.

I request all of you to kindly designate at least one colleague to deal with NAAC matters within your Department.

Above all, we must bear in mind at least five aspects while preparing the SSR:

1.         Evidence of contributing to core values.

2.         Evidence of building on the strengths identified during the first and second assessment.

3.         Compilation of the suggestions and recommendations made in the earlier reports, especially the preceding one.

4.         Quality sustenance and quality enhancement efforts of the institution during the post–accreditation period through Internal Quality Assurance Cell, and finally

5.         Future plans of the institution for quality enhancement.

As the Vice Chancellor correctly said: in the final analysis, it is not important what grades/marks we get from NAAC at the national level, though that will be of some importance no doubt, it is more important that we have an in-house auditingsystem in place that is objective, manifestly transparent, responds to our needs, and fulfils our aspirations for maintaining academic and corporate standards at the University of Hyderabad.

Let me assure that my committee will seek inputs and suggestions from as wide a circle as possible. I am hopeful that all of us working together, can rise to the occasion and face the challenges that face us as we prepare ourselves to be evaluated by NAAC in March 2013.

Thank you for your attention!

Sincere regards

Sachidananda Mohanty